Janikk's Dragon Bird
A large draconic bird native to Janikk, the gromdornis is the apex predator of the planet and the inspiration behind the Mordena's ferocious logo.
Gromdornox hold many similarities to myths of the draconic wyverns, possessing two wings with triple-clawed elbows, and two legs ending in four strong, sharp talons, three pointing forward and one back. Their wingspan is incredible, up to thirty feet when fully outstretched, although they are equally comfortable scrambling across the ground in talons and wingtips. Their large feathered tail extends ten to twelve feet behind them, assisting with balance in flight but also serving to attract a mate during breeding season. The gromdornis neck is long and flexible, allowing the bird to easily maneuver their sharp, toothed beak into tree hollows and animal burrows, or quickly survey their surroundings. The head and neck are covered entirely in scales, aside from a line of feathers down their spine which help provide stability in flight.
Dietary Needs and Habits
The gromdornox are the only true carnivores on Janikk, other species adapting to include fruits and other vegetation into their regular dies as a survival mechanism due to the difficulty in catching live prey when the Tenecknaab warns all creatures of danger. The gromdornox have made no such concessions, their ferocity and pack hunting behavior allowing them to remain the clear apex predators of Janikk.
Gromdornox live in extended families, called flights. Each flight is led by the oldest actively breeding pair, with the majority of flight members adolescent children, aging elder birds, and unpaired siblings. They craft large communal nests within the treetops, with actively breeding pairs maintaining a smaller secondary nest with their eggs. The entire flight will assist in caring for eggs and hatchling as well as their parents, although the majority of the work is performed by the breeding pair.
While attempts have been made, none have succeeded or even survived efforts domesticating or taming these fearsome predators, as far as the birds are concerned. They have been known to respond to distress calls in support of the defense of Janikk from outsiders, and on rare occasions have even temporarily adopted lost Mordena children until their parents could be located, but these behaviors have more to do with their ties to Janikk herself than any goodwill on the part of the birds.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
The Mordena believe death is simply a different state of being. Following the traditions of the ancient civilization who once claimed Janikk as home, the gromdornox feature prominently in Mordena Funerary Rites as a symbol of the Ecknaab, the balance between life and death. Gromdornox are also hunted as food and material. Their meat is considered a delicacy and often enjoyed among the Mordena or even shared with close allies such as The Sovereign Spoon. Their eggs are edible as well, although even rarer to obtain as the entire flight will defend the brooding nest. The feathers are commonly collected from abandoned nests and during molting season for the use in cold weather gear and high quality bedding, and the occasional tail feather has been gifted to Legionnaires who have assisted the Mordena in significant ways. Many of the gromdornis' bones can be boiled in water to make a light, flavorful soup broth. By contrast the bones of their wings are often used to form instruments, the flow of air across the countless reinforcement struts within these otherwise hollow bones providing an ethereal sound when air is forced over them. Ground bones from gromdornox, other animals, and even people are also used as a reinforcement material in ceramics, or mixed with other parts such as skin to form the basis for glue, fertilizers, and gelatin.
A single gromdornis is clever, with attempts at captivity failing horribly due to a patient tenacity which has always led to the bird's escape and subsequent mutilation of their captor. A pack of gromdornox, called a flight, brings that intelligent persistence to the forefront as the birds slowly wear down their prey until finally overwhelming all possible avenues of escape. The Mordena often hunt gromdornox, always with the use of Blades. The victor of such encounters is far from guaranteed.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
As with all life on Janikk gromdornox are also part of the Tenecknaab, meaning they have access to the shared danger-sense and have adapted to overcome the advanced warnings received by their prey. Their enhanced vision also allows them to see along the infrared spectrum, allowing them to single out potential meals attempting to hide beneath plantlife or within heavily wooded areas. The same Anemancy which allows them to fly effectively also permits them to amplify and pinpoint sounds. A gromdornis is capable of discerning the sound of digging or the faint warning calls of creatures even when high in the air and identify the exact location of their source, due to the bird's abilities to manipulate airflow and soundwaves.
a flight of gromdornox
a flight of gromdornox
11-14 ft at the shoulders
13-15 ft from beak to rump
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Gromdornox are colorful, the majority of their feathers a light pinkish with sections of blues, yellows, purples, browns, and greens, and a line of red down their spine. Their heads, necks, and lower legs are a scaled dark blue while their beaks take on a deep purple. There are no visible differences between males and females.